The Daily Brief – 22nd August, 2016


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Kamal Hassan
  • Actor Kamal Hassan will be awarded the prestigious Chevalier de L’Ordre Arts et Lettres or The Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Government. The order is a part of France’s premier award, the Legion of Honor, and he is only the second Tamil actor after Sivaji Ganesan to be chosen for the honour. Earlier in March this year, he had also received the Henri Langlois Award for his contribution to cinema in France.
  • The water levels of the Ganga have been rising, and created a flood-like situation in all the districts situated along the banks of the river. A disaster management report has announced that the Ganga and six other rivers were flowing above the danger mark. In West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, both the Ganga and the Yamuna have risen above the danger mark.
  • Hitachi Consulting, an IT company based in Hyderabad, will provide the software for an integrated data service of smart lighting, sensor-based traffic management, intelligent building management etc. to be used in making Copenhagen a smart city. 
  • Kolkata is hosting a series of events, including the Mother Teresa International Film Festival (MTIFF), beginning on August 26. This is in commemoration of the canonisation of Mother Teresa on September 4. Festivities are also underway in Macedonia, where the Mother was born. She was born to Albanian parents in Macedonia in 1910, and came to India in 1929. She set up the Missionaries of Charity here, and dedicated her entire life to the service of the poor and the destitutes living in slums and streets of Kolkata. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1979. She died on September 5, 1997. Mother Teresa was beatified in 2003, by the Late Pope John Paul after a miracle of curing a woman hailing from Uttar Dinajpur district of a tumour in her stomach, which was later approved by the Vatican.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping bestowed special honours on a PLA battalion posted in Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh for its “outstanding performance in safeguarding borders”.
  • According to an Assocham study, India is  home to the third largest number of technology-driven start-ups in the world, with the U.S. and the U.K. occupying the top two positions. The study, done by Assocham with Thought Arbitrage Research Institute, also revealed that Bangalore is host to the largest share of technology start-ups in the country, followed by Delhi NCR and Mumbai, while Hyderabad and Chennai are also quite popular.
  • The president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), N. Ramachandran, was awarded the Olympic Order for his outstanding service to the Olympic movement. Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, presented the award to Ramachandran.
  • Myanmar has officially announced its support for China’s ambitious One Belt and One Road (OBOR) connectivity initiative along the ancient Silk Road. It was announced in the joint statement released by both countries during the official state visit of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi to China.
  • Iran released images of its first domestically built long-range missile defence system. Images showed President Hassan Rouhani standing in front of the new Bavar 373 missile defence system.
  • New York has knocked off London as the world’s premier city for foreign investment in commercial real estate. This comes in the wake of fears that the vote to leave the European Union would diminish the British capital’s appeal as a global financial centre.
  • Siloe, a small publishing house in Spain, has procured the right to clone one of the world’s most mysterious books, called the Voynich Manuscript. The weathered book is locked away in a vault at Yale University’s Beinecke Library. Many scholars have spent their lives puzzling over the Voynich Manuscript, which has intriguing drawings and elegant writing.
  • An $800 million NASA mission called OSIRIS-REx, will take off next month, to scoop up 4.5 billion-year-old dust from an asteroid. OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer. The unmanned spacecraft will travel to an asteroid near Earth called Bennu to collect space dust that may reveal how the materials necessary for life — such as carbon and ice — made their way to our planet.
  • Researchers at the University of Rochester have, for the first time, decoded and predicted the brain activity patterns of word meanings within sentences. This advancement that may help brain injury and stroke patients communicate better. The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) to measure human brain activation.

Today’s Quiz

  1. Which Indian actor has been awarded the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters?

2. Which country is the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters awarded by?

3. Where was Mother Teresa born?

4. When was Mother Teresa awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace?

5. Who was Mother Teresa beatified by, in 2003?

6. Who is the President of the Indian Olympic Association?

7. Which city has knocked off London as the world’s premier city for foreign investment in commercial real estate?

8. Which publishing house in Spain has procured the right to clone one of the world's most mysterious books, called the Voynich Manuscript?

9. Which city in India is host to the largest share of technology start-ups in the country?

10. Who  is currently serving as the President of the IOC?


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